Major Matt Mason Club and Mattel Astrospace Center

MAC Store Display

Major Matt Mason Club

Before the Mattel Astrospace Center (Club) was formed, Mattel devised this rare Major Matt Mason Club package: A membership card, a pin, and a signed photo of MMM all enclosed in a printed envelope. I'm not quite sure if this was offered outside the US or if the MAC items (below) was the first international expansion of the club into Canada and Europe (and maybe Australia?). I'm also not sure if the pin was part of the kit or whether that was a store giveaway only.

Major Matt Mason Club Contents (Image from Larry Chinn)

MMM Club Card

This card could be signed by the member and carried around in his/her wallet.

MMM Club Pin

This 2" diameter metal pin was included in the MMM Club package. It has a metal tab at the top that allows it to be clipped to clothing. This is sometimes found with a small hole at the top, presumably to attach it to a wall using a thumbtack (it's fairly common and may have been recommended by Mattel). The pin was also provided to toy store owners and may have been used as a giveaway. Pin Back Image.

MMM Club Photo

This very cool signed photo (about 7 1/4" tall by x 5 1/4" wide) could be framed by the member to pay homage to everyone's favorite Major! This photo is also found on the last page of an extremely rare 1967 8-page MMM catalog (probably a store give-away) in a larger size of 8 1/2" x 11" (magazine size of the catalog) - you'll sometimes see the cut-out version with an image of the Space Station on the back.

MMM Club Envelope

Apparently this envelope held all the goodies together for the club member (all examples I've seen had the envelope flap seal opened). Measures 8 1/4" tall by 5 1/2" wide.


MAC Store Display

Mattel Astrospace Center - US Club

The Mattel Astrospace Center became the new Major Matt Mason Club. By joining a new member received a membership card, a letter of congratulations, an iron-on patch for placing on a tee-shirt and a coupon for ordering a MAC cap. All this came in a printed manila envelope. At some point (probably around 1969) the MAC club was made available internationally but from the evidence I've seen, had content variations.

MAC Store Display

The MAC store display is a die-cut version version of the MAC logo on coated white stock. It was provided to stores who supported the MAC campaigns and offered Major Matt Mason items at retail. These could be taped or otherwise attached to walls or counters, or often (as in the case of my example) punched with a hole so it can be suspended from the ceiling. MAC Store Display back.

MAC Vinyl ID "Wallet"

This is the most common item from the M.A.C. club kit. It is made of thin white vinyl, 4 1/4” tall by 5 7/8” wide (opened) in size and has a pocket on each side. The young astronaut hopeful could fill in his name and address. Vinyl ID "Wallet" Back.

MAC Iron-on Heat Transfer for Clothing

The transfer is printed in reverse on backing paper, 4 5/8” tall x 3 5/8” wide in paper size. The image itself is 3" x 3"
To apply, it would be placed on a tee-shirt with the print facing the textile. After ironing on the transfer the backing paper would be peeled off to reveal the image in place. Reversed Detail Image.

MAC Cap Envelope/Coupon

This 3 1/2” tall x 6” wide (closed) envelope was self-addressed to Mattel Astrospace Corp and contained a coupon under the flap that could be filled-out by kids wanting to buy the MAC cap (shown below). I consider the MAC cap to be one of the rarest of all MMM items...think about it, in order to obtain one, a kid had to be a member of the MAC club and gotten this coupon, then mailed it in (with $1 before June 1969) and been lucky that the Post Office actually delivered it! And you thought that the carded Mobile Launch Pad was rare?!

MAC "Baseball" Cap

By sending in a club kit coupon, a member of the Mattel Astrospace Center could (with the addition of a couple of dollars plus shipping) order the MAC cap. The cap features the MAC logo with gold leaves (heat transfer) on the brim. I really took a chance bidding on this cap without examining it in person. I'm happy to say that I'm convinced of its authenticity. The cap is made of a blue poly-blend with a fake leather band (notice the cracks from age). The cap is sized for a child and is 4-panel in construction (a style that hasn't been produced in 20 years!). The MAC logo is a 3-color heat transfer style patch done in amazing detail. The opening is about 7" in diameter.

There's also a flat-top variant of this cap that is 3-panel in construction with yellow "leaves" instead of the gold on the brim. I believe this cap was issued in Canada or in Europe. The diameter of the cap opening is tighter than the 7" in the US version, with two elastic gussets at the back.

Comparison 4-panel left vs 3-panel right

MAC Envelope Mailer

This approximately  9” tall x 6” wide envelope contained the MAC goodies sent from Mattel in the US. 

The MAC Envelope image was provided by Larry "the Sharkman" Chinn. E-mail him with your questions. If anyone else out there can contribute more information of images, please feel free to e-mail me. I'm also actively buying MAC and MMM Club Kit items, especially international items.

Mattel Astrospace Center - Canadian Club

Canada MAC Club Contents (Image from eBay Ad)

Some minor changes to items distributed to kids in Canada including a line for "Province" on address input lines and a small cloth MAC sticker instead of the iron-on transfer.

MAC Canada ID Card

In Canada the MAC Club kit came with a paper ID Card rather than the vinyl wallet. Note the space for Province - a bit of a throwback to the original Major Matt Mason Club Kit. The card is 2 1/2" tall by 4" wide.

MAC Canada ID Card Back

MAC Canada Cloth Sticker

Rather than distribute the kit with an iron-on patch like the US version, in Canada you got a slightly smaller (2 1/2" tall by 2 1/4" wide unused) reflective cloth sticker, presumably to attach to your jacket or shirt.
Size Comparison to the US Iron-on Transfer

MAC Canada Order Form

Along with the club kit Canadian kids would get an order form and an envelope so they can acquire the MAC Cap (images from an eBay auction).

MAC Canada Order Envelope

Mattel Astrospace Club - Italy

Mattel Astrospace Club - Italy

I believe that the Mattel Astrospace Club (note Club instead of Center) made it's appearance about the time that Baravelli was replaced by Mattel S.p.A. Giocattoli in Italy. To date only a few items have been discovered: an Italian MAC Vinyl ID "Wallet," a cardboard ID Card, and a small sticker (about the same size as the Canadian one above only printed on slick paper instead of the reflective cloth).

MAC - Italy ID Card

The MAC - Italy ID Card is very similar to the MAC US ID vinyl "wallet" provided to members in the US only made of stiff paper - there's also an association with the Corrierino Club (which makes sense as the MAC club was advertized through Corrierino. I think it's interesting that the Member number, name, etc was typed, presumably when it was sent back to the member. The outside has spaces for "stamps" as part of a promotion I believe. Dimensions unfolded are 4" tall x 5 1/2" wide.

Mattel Astrospace Club - Italy ID Outside Cover

MAC - Italy Vinyl ID "Wallet"

The MAC - Italy "wallet" is made of thin white vinyl, 4 1/4” tall by 5 7/8” wide (opened) in size and has a pocket on each side. The young astronaut hopeful could fill in his name and address - note the Italian translations).

MAC - Italy Sticker

This sticker is very similar to the Canadian cloth sticker with an image that's about the same size. Note the addition of red in the helmet though- certainly much more stylish. It's 2 1/4" square.

Canadian Sticker on left, Italian on right

Centro Astrospaziale Mattel

Not really a club item, the CAM logo was found on toy shops in Italy to identify those selling MMM items. I've included it here because of its similarity to the MAC logo.

 

 

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